For many years, there has always been a division within the natural hair community between what is considered good hair and what is considered bad hair. Bad hair has been perceived as a common term called “ naps,” which means that the hair has a kinkier and dry texture. This misconceived perception has created a division on what type of curl pattern is the “best”.
YouTube star, Nia Imani, who amasses more than 40,000 subscribers on her channel, recently released a video, which touched on the topic of good hair vs bad hair. Nia Imani is known for her honest opinion on her YouTube channel with several different topics. She also creates beauty content for the African American community, which is very scarce in the YouTube world. She addresses the division within the natural hair community in her video and also provides information on different hair types and how women of the natural hair community can change this misconception. Nia Imani also sat down with EGL to discuss her views on this topic and what made her finally make a video addressing these concerns.
EGL: For those who have not seen your videos, can you please give an overview of your main concerns?
Nia: The main concerns covered in my latest and most controversial video that I’ve posted … I discussed the frequent argument of “ni**** hair vs good hair” within the black/ natural hair community.
EGL: What is your definition of good hair?
Nia: Good hair according to my dictionary means hair that is properly taken care of; healthy, moisturized.
EGL: Over the years, how exactly do you think the division within the natural hair community evolved, especially concerning “what is good hair?”
Nia: I think the division stems from black people not fully understanding their hair types. Most young black girls are told that their hair is nappy and their mothers immediately throw a relaxer in it without properly caring for it. Then, they’re unaware of their natural hair pattern and automatically believe it’s bad because they’re so dependent on the “creamy crack” and not used to their natural hair. Also, the term good hair has this connotation that the person has to have a looser curl pattern, which I definitely disagree with.
EGL: What gave you the courage to finally address the issues within the natural hair community?
Nia: I found the courage to address those topics because I heard the people cry for too many years, and I felt that my platform was big enough for my message to reach people. Ever since I’ve really embraced my natural hair fully, I’ve encouraged others to do the same and enjoy THEIR hair while being able to admire another’s curls without being envious.
EGL: As a YouTube guru, How do you feel you can help the division within the natural hair community?
Nia: As a natural hair enthusiast, I feel that I can offer inspiration to many people. I try to be as descriptive and as helpful as possible so that those who watch can fully grasp the concepts. Also, I’ve been introducing curly diversity to my page so that those who don’t have my hair type can see their hair type on my channel as well.
EGL: What was the overall feedback from the video?
Nia: I can definitely say [that] even though the feedback was very mixed, there was more positive feedback than negative. Due to my controversial title, most thought I was being “ignorant” and had “self hatred”, but instead I just wanted it to be attention grabbing and as realistic as possible.
EGL: What natural hair brands do you feel have products for all types of hair textures?
Nia: I believe that Cantu, Shea Moisture, The Mane Choice, Camille Rose Naturals and Taaliah Wajid are all great brands for all curls.
EGL: As women, what can we do in order to ensure that the good hair vs bad hair conversation ceases?
Nia: As women, we need to continue to love and empower ourselves as well as each other. We also need to continue to teach our children self love and appreciation for others.
EGL: You have also posted another rant titled discussing why you hate being black due to the stigmas and mass cultural appropriation. Do you feel as though when making these videos you are finally getting through to people about major issues?
Nia: I feel like my little “rants” allow people to see my perspective. Some agree, some strongly disagree and others are happy I said it and want to hear more. So in a sense, I do believe the videos are getting through to people.
After getting insight into this well-known controversy, hopefully, all women grow to love their texture of hair no matter what “type” it is. Healthy hair is good hair, regardless of its curl pattern. Learn to love your curls! If you would like to see Nia Imani’sfull video on good hair vs bad hair, go check it out as well as many other of her videos here.
Written By: Arianna Herriott